RUSSIAN natural gas supplies to Slovakia fell by a third yesterday, forcing the Slovak gas utility, Slovenský plynárenský priemysel (SPP), to start distributing gas from its reserves in the Záhorie region of Western Slovakia.
SPP spokeswoman Dana Kršáková said the decreased gas supplies to Slovakia would not affect consumers, as SPP is able to cover demand for gas from its reserves, the SME daily wrote.
In line with EU requirements, Slovakia's gas reserves represent around 30 percent of the country's annual gas consumption, or 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Slovak Economy Minister Jirko Malchárek called a meeting for today to discuss the situation and analyze possible crisis scenarios, although "such scenarios are very unlikely", according to Economy Ministry spokesman Róbert Beňo.
The Russian Gazprom company, which supplies gas to Slovakia and most of Western Europe, promised that its regular supplies should resume by evening today.
Gazprom is in a dispute over gas supplies with Ukraine, which it accuses of stealing gas from Gazprom's pipeline on its territory.
Gazprom shut off deliveries to Ukraine on Sunday after Ukraine rejected its demand for a fourfold price increase. About 80 per cent of the gas Gazprom sells to other European countries goes through Ukraine.
Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
3. Jan 2006 at 10:06